Our new budget for 2007 - 2008 is on line. Normally a budget is not something you blog on. However project why has reached a stage where in a case of force majeure it has become necessary to review and reinvent.
The Damocles sword of the now (in)famous sealing laws hangs on our head. The not so elusive year 2010 is just round the corner and it would be foolish to think that slums will remain where they are. On the other hand the promise of building flats for slum dwellers in situ is at best only for a chosen few, if not a another political sop. The likelihood of slums being once again pushed to the edge of the city seems more like a reality waiting to happen.
Thinking that project why could remain as it is for years to come is unwise. The sensible option is to start planning for the future while keeping within the spirit of project why.
We now have 10 working modules in 7 locations. Our first step would be to empower the staff in each of these 10 module to take on their management. Hence we have asked them to prepare individual budgets and maintain daily accounts. We know that we will have to hold their hand for some time but in the ultimate analysis they will one day be able to handle their work independently and thus run their programmes in whatever location they find themwelves in. Pwhy then becomes the validating organisation that would seek funds. It would also have a training and monitoring role.
On the other hand we still have some children and adults that would need us on a lifelong basis. These are not those we sought but those that landed in our existence. Planet why is what we have considered as a viable option as it would also enable us to raise on our funds in the future. This is also a imperative as we cannot expect funders to support us for ever.
Budget 2006 includes a new programme that we have called community outreach. This was done as it was felt that education alone could not bring about the kind of change we dreamt of. Awareness on issues like RTI and environment (water, plastic menace etc) are important factors that need to be taught to both parents and children. Moreover the need for health and hygiene awareness needs also to be addressed. We are happy to share that after 7 gruelling years we have finally been accepted by the community and approached by local doctors and other community leaders for joint programmes. This is a major breakthrough in our effort to bridge the gap between various sections of the community. Moreove this programe will also try and address various social issues that plague the community.
2007 looks like being a year of transformation and remodeling. We are awre that it will throw up many new challenges but we hope to meet them with success.